Police volunteer their time to lower the road toll

POLICE from Charlton, Donald, Wycheproof, Culgoa, Sea Lake and Birchip are donating their time to save lives on country roads.

Their generosity will see them volunteer to work on their days off to target speed and driver fatigue as part of an intensive road safety operation in the Buloke Shire.

The end result is expected to be more than 160 hours of additional patrolled police time with a commitment to lowering the road toll.

Acting Sergeant Shane Pilgrim from Quambatook Police Station contacted the Bendigo Advertiser to spread the word about the operation.

"Expect to see plenty of police on our roads over the coming months, including the Easter holiday period," he said.

"In the past three years, there have been 10 fatal collisions and 79 injury collisions within the Buloke Shire.

"The vast majority of these, about 80 per cent, have involved a single vehicle leaving the road. 

"Speeding and/or fatigue are considered to be the major causes of this type of collision."

Acting Sergeant Pilgrim said the special operation had been made possible with the help of the Transport Accident Commission.

"We'll also have police from neighbouring areas come and assist," he said.

"Even the Swan Hill Local Area Commander, Inspector Jamie Templeton, will be doing traffic patrols of Buloke in an attempt to lower the road toll.

"We'll end up with somewhere in the vicinity of 20 to 25 extra eight hour shifts performed and that sort of works out to be over 160 hours of additional patrolled time in the area.

"We'll be targeting specifically speeding and fatigue related issues because they're the two big issues that have jumped out in the area."

Acting Sergeant Pilgrim said serious collisions resulting in death or serious injury could have a devastating impact on the community, including police who attend the incidents.

"We actually know the people," he said.

"It's the hardest part of the whole job.

“The local Police feel so strongly about this, as not only do we work in the area, but we live here as well. 

"Recently police attended at the fatal collision involving a young woman that they knew through coaching her children at football. 

"On another occasion, police investigated the death of a young man that they played lawn bowls with at the local bowls club.

“I urge all drivers to take care when travelling on our roads.

"It is important to remember that as your speed increases, so does your risk of crashing and being seriously injured or killed.

"This is a direct attempt by your local police to lower our local road toll.”

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